Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rock DJ

Love it! An interesting collaboration - and I love the outcome of one of the world's biggest DJs, with one of the world's most exciting new acts. Just a pity I won't be in town for the Smirnoff Be There May 15th show.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stop! It's Hammertime Interview!

Who knows which bright spark decided it would be fun to bring out 90s music stars to South Africa for a series of adverts for a lite beer? But I'll admit, it has been fun getting to meet some of them. Enter MC Hammer - he of 'U Can't Touch This' fame, Hammer pants, and yes, Hammerman, one of the cartoons I used to watch on KTV as a kid. He's since lost his fortune, regained some of it, become a preacher, started a dance empire and become a social media fundi.

So he's here for the Castle Lite ads - like Vanilla Ice was a few months ago. Some tweeps wanted to know if he would be mixing up his hit single with the latest SA You Tube phenomenon "Don't Touch Me on My Studio". I asked him about that, and he said that he had heard something about the video, but it was only because someone asked him to do a voice drop for it. Don't be surprised then, if something along those lines does indeed surface!

He's a nice enough guy, and gives a great interview. Plus, he's one of the names behind an initiative to spread awareness about malaria and help buy mosquito nets. Another good thing: his tweets. He has been spreading positive messages about South Africa, and Joburg in particular, to his almost 2 and a half million followers. Follow him @MCHammer.In the face of the negative British press, we can do with all the good words we can get.

Oh - and he also kept his word that he'd follow me back on Twitter! :)

Friday, April 23, 2010


SAMA City is what Sun City becomes every year, round about this time, when the music industry descends upon the holiday resort. As The Star's music journalist Therese Owen puts it, the various hotels have begun to correlate with areas in Joburg - 'The Palace' is Sandton, 'The Main Hotel', Melville and 'Cabanas', Soweto. 

For the past couple of years, there have been two events; Friday night usually ends up playing Ugly Stepsister to Saturday night's Cinderella. And so it was with this past weekend. Friday night felt like one was watching a dress rehearsal that should have been practised a few more times before curtaincall.
You'll know the winners - from listening to EWN ;) or reading them here.
So, then, highlights and not-so-highlights, from someone who has "been there and done that":


5. The SAMAs stepping it up a bit - live webcast, nice goodie bags, attention to the TV show (the organisers brought in top notch director Julia Knowles).
4. The musical director Jon Savage's choice of collaborations: the performance between Tumi and Thandiswa, the Parlotones and Louise Carver, and the gospel collab with The Plain Truth. Oh, and Kwela Tebza lighting themselves up as they played their pennywhistles!
3. The stage set-up - it looked fantastic, especially when HHP's Mpitse being brought to life on it.
2. District 9's Wikus van der Merwe making a cameo guest presenting appearance - and roping in "onse Charlize". Sharlto Copley's girlfriend told me it was set up and Charlize was in on the whole thing.
1. Tumi on stage with Zaki Ibrahim, Yesterday's Pupil and MXO at the Dungeon (which I was told afterwards was the bottom of the pool at the Valley of the Waves). It was by far the best party to be at - especially when DJ Kenzhero took to the one's and two's. Also honorable mention for top performance must also go to Selaelo Selota at the Palace, who kept us entertained with his onstage antics.


5. Not having a seat because Row I did not exist, and being moved around 3 times as the show was starting. As a judge, this was not so great - as a journalist, it was just plain ridiculous.
4. The tacky-looking show on Friday night and the shameless self-promotion of a certain tabloid magazine onstage, while handing out awards.
3. Rent-a-crowd in the cheap seats upstairs booing when Lifetime Achievement reciepients Carike Keuzenkamp and Jabu Khanyile's wife tried to make their speeches.
2. The stampede by the North West masses as they all tried to get to the afterparty - during which a friend's phone was jacked.
1. It felt to me like one big popularity contest - a lot of the awards went to the most popular artists of the day, and not necessarily because of the musical strength of the album/song in question.

Best Afrikaans Alternative Album winner Die Heuwels Fantasties' frontman Pierre - who is much taller without his beanie (and in general!)

Best Female winner - the gorgeous Lira

The wonderful Neo Muyanga from Blk Sonshine - nominated for Best Adult Contemporary Album, English

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Eating "green cupcakes" with actress Terry Pheto in honour of Earth Day.

Follow the blog of my favourite "green" muso - Jason Mraz.
Read my story on other "greenies" in the latest Saltwater Girl Magazine.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wikus and Charlize

This was one of my highlights of the SA Music Awards - held at Sun City this past weekend. It sounds just like Charlize - and I don't just mean her voice!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sex and the City 2 - It's Almost Here!

Just over a month to go 'til the film releases! Anyone who knows me, knows I have the picture of me and Carrie Bradshaw (okay, Sarah Jessica Parker) as my cellphone's background, and I, like a lot of my galpals, can quote scenes from the TV show with ease, so I absolutely cannot wait for this second installment of the movie series!

Kelly&Co Record a World Cup Song

Former Destiny's Child member and Grammy-winning singer Kelly Rowland has recorded a song for the World Cup with some top local stars - ie Jozi, Slikour and Zuluboy. I was also glad to hear Awadi on the track because I am a fan of his work too.
An official song has yet to be announced by FIFA and the Organising Committee but if Kelly had her way she'd make 'Everywhere You Go' the theme song to the big event!
In this interview I did with her, she talks about the message behind the song and she also weighs in on the controversy surrounding the World Cup Kick-off Celebration Concert.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Achmed the Dead Terrorist

Comedian Jeff Dunham is heading for South Africa in September - and he's bringing his ventriloquist act, Achmed the Dead Terrorist with him. I spoke to him over the phone from Los Angeles.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Beautiful Betty

One day I got an sms from my brother once to say he was catching up on the Ugly Betty DVD series and that I reminded him of Betty.
"Chubby and ditzy?" I thought. Thanks, Matt.
"No", he replied, "her determination and never-give-up attitude".
Ah, sweet redeeming sms.
I, like my brother and many other fans, will be sad to see the last episode of Ugly Betty, which has just been filming in London. Apparently the show moved from Thursdays to Friday nights in the States and that knocked its ratings. I will miss the show because:

- The character of Justin Suarez played by Marc Indelicato is just faaaabulous! His rendition of the opening number from Hairspray on the subway was hilarious. But he's not just funny; the way he handed over the Homecoming crown to his mom was touching. Plus the gay teenager storyline is interesting to see (and I believe it's going to get even more so...)

- the play between Marc (Michael Urie) and Amanda (Becki Newton) is this century's Jack and Karen from Will&Grace, and they keep it going off camera on their regular podcasts.

Marc: "It'll be like Britney shaving her head all over again!"
Amanda: "Ohh, that was fun...But then it got sad...
Marc: "Yeah, but then it got fun again!"

- In the first season, when the show won at the Golden Globes, our very own Capetonian Stelio Savante played a hitman

- It was on Ugly Betty that I saw snippets of the Broadway musical Wicked and that made me make it the first show I saw on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre.

Pics from

- I just love Betty: following her ups and downs and her improving (if only slightly) wardrobe. And how she still managed to get the guy (most of the time!) But perhaps the show really has run its course?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Why Why Peaches

I was in Std 9 when I first heard Fetish and my recorded cassette tape of their TDK performance on Barney Simon's show never left my walkman. I moved from Joburg to Cape Town, was going into Matric, and my parents split up for good. It was against this backdrop that I began to fall in love with the band. Michelle Breeze's lyrics seem to encompass all that I was feeling and her voice captured all those things I couldn't express. I remember going to every gig of theirs that I could - once, my dad came with me to the dingy Ruby in the Dust in Observatory, where I remember feeling awkward when Michelle got to the part in Shade of a Ghost where she would swear. Ah, teenage angst.

I would cut out every magazine and newspaper clipping that had to do with the band. I remember going to the V&A Waterfront for a meet-and-greet. I also remember waiting anxiously for their latest album to come out. And, there was the little schoolgirl crush I had on the bassist, Jeremy. Once, on the dating show my friend and I were coerced into doing, the guy asked me who my favourite local band was and I, of course, answered Fetish. He Buzzed me out but not because he had bad taste in music, but because he was not the brightest bulb in the pack: when asked who his favourite local band was, he said "U2". No loss there!

All these things were part of my "fetish for Fetish". If you had told me then that I would go on to become friends with the individual band members - having coffee with Michelle and her son Connor on London's South Bank, hanging out with Ross Campbell and his partner Sylvia in Cape Town, tweeting with Jeremy [now married with kids :)], I would have not have believed you. Indeed, above all this, the band gave me one of my best friends - Michelle's sister Tracy. We met in the bathroom of a Fetish gig in Cape Town, while trying to cross a pee-covered floor. We've been friends ever since!

I feel as if I invested so much into that band that I will never really feel that way about any other band again. Perhaps it was my age, or just the time, but I was so heartsore when Fetish broke up around 2001. The band created an album of previously unreleased material called Remains which I hold dear. But they have all moved on. And so have I.

In that spirit comes something exciting and new from Michelle Breeze. She had a project called Darkpop with Christopher Tuck. Now, through working with another top musical talent, Craig Dodds (remember Egyptian Nursery?) Michelle has given us Why Why Peaches. And a song like the one below softens the blow of losing one of my favourite groups...